.308 elk hunting

Wild_Bill7

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May 17, 2021
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I got an elk hunt coming up in November and the gun I’m taking is a .308 Winchester with a 22in barrel. I have Varget powder and BR-2 primers that I am using. I have Barnes 168gr ttsx, 200gr Hornady eldx, 185gr Berger classic hunter, and Barnes 180gr ttsx. I’ve ran tests with the Barnes 168gr ttsx and I’ve gotten the best accuracy with 40.5 gr of powder and a OAL of 2.800. The only problem with that is I only get a muzzle velocity of 1514 fps. I want to be able to take a shot out to 500 yards max, and by max I mean absolutely last resort. Mostly I want to plan for a shot below 350. Now I know people will say to just bump up the powder, but I am a firm believer in accuracy and shot placement over things like fps and kenetic energy. I also know that fps and kenetic energy aren't irrelevant and do play a large roll in ethically harvesting an animal. The problem was as I went up in powder my .211in group went to a .847in group. Just wanted some opinions on the best option.
 

Old rooster

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Jan 9, 2019
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Something is wrong with those numbers.Maybe a chrony not working properly?
I shoot a factory 308 Howa 1500 with a 22 inch barrel and my pet load is 45.0 grs Varget at 2679 fps.I could bump it up a bit and be right at 2700 fps but the 165 grTSX kills so well I don't need any extra speed and over 45.0 gr of Varget I am compressed.
I also have a load with 48.0 grs AA2520 that runs well over 2700 fps and great accuracy.
I bet that 168 gr Barnes will kill anything you shoot!
Check your powder scale for accuracy or your chronograph.Also check cronograph and make sure you are not on meters.
 
Last edited:

Old rooster

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Sounds close dogz.
Wild_Bill I most of the time I get an accuracy node going up and then another accuracy node comes in.
I had poor accuracy at 2600 fps,good accuracy at 2650 fps,poor accuracy again and then good accuracy at 45 gr Varget so an accuracy node can appear at different levels.Thats why I use a ladder test to see where accuracy gets the best.
So you may get a better accuracy node at a higher load density.
Or maybe not as every rifles is different.
 

dogz

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Jan 11, 2006
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SWMT
46 of Varget and a 165-168 is the most used load I know of in my part of the world.

I'd get a real speed, as it's most certainly not 1514, then I'd start to work up to 45. I'm betting you can get to 45 just fine with that 168 even though it's a long bugger!

As well, there are plenty of 165-168's out there to give a go if you can find them and are willing to experiment a bit.

168 Berger
165 Sierra HPBT
165 Sierra BT
165 Hornady sp and bt
155 Scenar
165 Nozler (PT or NBT, Accubond)

All of these are rock stars and will snuff an elk if you do your part.
 

Mike Matteson

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Jun 26, 2017
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1,219
I know that items are hard to come by. You might look at 150gr for that 308. SBT. The .847 group isn't that big of a deal @ 500 yds.
 

436

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Mar 22, 2009
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I got an elk hunt coming up in November and the gun I’m taking is a .308 Winchester with a 22in barrel. I have Varget powder and BR-2 primers that I am using. I have Barnes 168gr ttsx, 200gr Hornady eldx, 185gr Berger classic hunter, and Barnes 180gr ttsx. I’ve ran tests with the Barnes 168gr ttsx and I’ve gotten the best accuracy with 40.5 gr of powder and a OAL of 2.800. The only problem with that is I only get a muzzle velocity of 1514 fps. I want to be able to take a shot out to 500 yards max, and by max I mean absolutely last resort. Mostly I want to plan for a shot below 350. Now I know people will say to just bump up the powder, but I am a firm believer in accuracy and shot placement over things like fps and kenetic energy. I also know that fps and kenetic energy aren't irrelevant and do play a large roll in ethically harvesting an animal. The problem was as I went up in powder my .211in group went to a .847in group. Just wanted some opinions on the best option.
I agree with others your numbers don't seem right. With that said what model of a rifle are you using?
 

Wild_Bill7

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Joined
May 17, 2021
Messages
14
Location
Illinois
I know everyone has said the .847 group isn’t bad, but for me it’s a confidence thing. The more accurate my rifle can be the more I trust my shots. Also this is a once in a lifetime hunt for me and the more confidence I can have in my gun the better I feel about having a successful hunt. For 436 I have a savage 110 with a proof research carbon barrel.
 
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